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    Joined: May 2023
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    My son just entered public school this year and the school says they want to get him tested (cognitive and achievement) to qualify him for additional gifted services and get a better handle on how they can challenge him academically. He is currently 5 years 10 months old. I expect them to schedule testing with the district Psychologist sometime in the next month.

    I am wondering if I should ask them to delay the test until he turns 6 so he can take WISC instead of WPPSI. Will the WISC give us a clearer picture than the WPPSI at this point? From my observations I would guess his weaknesses would be anything timed and anything requiring drawing.

    He took the DAS-II and had abbreviated WJIV-ACH testing back when he was 4, but since that was over a year ago I guess they want to do their own testing? I gave them those test results.

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    Welcome, eventemp!

    If you already suspect that his relative weaknesses at this point in his development are speed and fine-motor, then he is probably better off taking the WPPSI, which has fewer fine-motor demands. The WISC does have a higher ceiling for a just-five-year-old than the WPPSI does, but the trade-off with fine-motor expectations may not be worthwhile.

    They probably want to do their own testing for a couple of reasons, including equity (so everyone considered for the program is examined at the same stage and on the same instruments), and because development can be in fits and starts for little people. A lot can happen in one year for a preschooler.


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    Thank you so much for responding. Unfortunately because I was a new member this question was delayed quite a bit and he has already been tested. As it turned out the school used the RIAS-2 and the WJ-IV ACH. We just got results today and unfortunately they don't clear up the questions I had, though admittedly my questions were probably not the same as the school's.

    The results on the RIAS-2 have a note about the final subtest that says "would rather skip the item than potentially guess incorrectly. Due to the difference between scores on the Nonverbal Intelligence Index (NIX) subtests, the NIX composite score should be interpreted with caution. Additionally, the Composite Intelligence Index (CIX) may be lower than expected"

    The school is looking for guidance on grade placement, while I wanted to get a better granular understanding of things like working memory and processing speed which the test didn't give. Also because of the one subtest, the score may exclude him from gifted services at this time which is disappointing. The VIX was 99.5% with a 139, but the NIX came out to 70% with a 108, for a CIX of 127/96% with a district cutoff of 98%. The T-scores on the 2 subtests for the non-verbal were 80 and 31, so definitely a huge discrepancy.

    Meanwhile his achievement scores are pretty much about what I expected. 142/99.7% broad reading and 145/99.9% math. The applied problems subtest hit >160/>99.9% (which one would expect would require exceptional non-verbal skills!). All the achievement subtests were >99%, except one which was 92%. And this is a kid who is entirely self-taught. He loves learning and could read as soon as he could talk - but resists being taught. The school has already grade skipped him, but his performance is ... well, can best be described as missing. He says school is boring and he seems disengaged.

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    From personal experienceÖ the school is going to have firm guidelines for what they identify as gifted. They are going to test to see if your kid meets the identification guidelines. They arenít really going to test for better understanding of your childís profile. Their goal is to screen the whole population of students to find the gifted ones.

    My son was all over the place when he was five and six years old. He would sometimes cooperate with assessments and other times not. I knew he had high ability, but I also knew that he wasnít going to consistently show that ability.

    Our school screens for gifted at second grade. The first screener didnít identify him., One classroom teacher told me to ask about retesting. The gifted coordinator retested using a different assessment that did identify him. As he got older, they started using achievement tests that are adaptive. Once he started doing adaptive testing, he started looking way more gifted. Also, just reaching out and connecting with your gifted coordinator may be helpful.

    If you want really good information, I would encourage you to get comprehensive testing privately. And definitely find someone who specializes in gifted. We came with very specific questions based on behaviors at school and feedback from teachers along with what we knew about our kid as parents. Once you have a private assessment, you can bring the report back to the school.

    Since your child is pretty young, I would probably start looking for a psychologist that specializes in gifted. I would reach out to them and see what it takes to have your kid assessed. And at what age they think it would be most useful. You donít really have to act on this just yet. But there might be a point when you want to use it: to place him appropriately at school or get supports, accommodations, enrichment, or advancement in place.

    As my son has gotten older, we have gotten more testing and he has a learning, disability in writing, and some executive functioning deficits. I wouldnít know any of this stuff if I didnít get him privately tested. The school really is not set up to screen for kids with that kind of complexity. Even once we took that information back to the school, the school doesnít identify the disability because it doesnít meet their criteria for an IEP. But he does have 504 accommodations, and a team of people from the school are pretty well informed about his profile. I have also found that the school is not super knowledgeable about the ins and outs of gifted kids especially twice exceptional kids. Iíve had to go out to read and find experts then bring back information to the school.

    I will say that the gifted coordinator has been very helpful for us. She is the one person in the school that understands the complexity and how to address it and also knows the school system and what the teachers need in order to put things in action. We have started asking the classroom teachers and the gifted coordinator to work together to have a good plan for working with our son. His needs are very demanding on a teacher, and that teacher needs a lot of support.

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    Thanks for replying. We had a meeting with the psychologist from the school district and the principal. The psychologist said he's still qualifying him for gifted services and grade advancement using the VIX as the qualifying score (said the verbal subtests on this particular test were better indicator of ability anyway). In talking with him he felt strongly that the one subtest was an outlier due to his age.

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    Oh good news! Nice to hear.


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